Clerk/treasurer candidates push qualifications
LVN Editor Emeritus
Two candidates — both Republicans who are hoping to succeed Kelly Helton as Churchill County clerk/treasurer, presented on Tuesday information on their professional financial backgrounds and answered a handful of questions from the audience at the Churchill Economic Development Authority/LVN Candidates Night.
Corine “Rinnie” Barrenchea and Linda Rothery are running for the office currently held by Helton, who decided not to run. Because both candidates are Republicans, the winner of the primary election on June 12 will become the new clerk/treasurer.
Barrenchea, who was born and grew up in Fallon, has been manager of the Navy Federal Credit Union at Naval Air Station Fallon for 17 years. She said she understands the community as anyone could and the commitment to fulfill her responsibilities if elected and to take the clerk/treasurer’s office to the next level by satisfying the requirement of the job.
Barrenchea said she can bring a fresh perspective in a new age of technology and expectations and touted her experience in the financial industry, which she said is one of the most scrutinized because of constant federal oversight.
“I know the importance of precise record keeping,” she said of adhering to government laws and regulations.
She said her experience includes working with the operation of a $1 billion financial institution that gives her a broader, more diverse experience.
“Taxpayers deserve the best,” Barrenchea said, adding she pledges to deliver the highest level of leadership to the office. “The taxpayers are customers of this county, and they deserve the best experience possible.”
Barrenchea said because of her financial background, she is the proven candidate.
Rothery, who moved to Fallon with her family more than 20 years ago, has served as office manager and chief deputy clerk/treasurer for 11 years and 17 total in the clerk/treasurer’s office. She mentioned Helton has endorsed her for the office, which is for a four-year term. Rothery said she is the most qualified candidate for the office.
“As chief deputy clerk/treasurer, I am in daily contact with various offices and departments with the county administration and with county clerks (and) treasurers across the state of Nevada and as well as with the Secretary of State’s office,” she said.
Rothery said she has proven herself in knowing all aspects of the office and promises to “hit the ground running” if elected. She said she’s been working on updates to software programs including voter registration, tax collection, elections, clerk functions and a countywide county financial software.
Rothery said she has a proven track record in improving the proficiencies of the office with the most up-to-date technology and meeting residents’ needs.
During the question and answer segment, George McKinnon asked each candidate the primary function of a treasurer. Barrenchea said the clerk/treasurer is the bank for the county and also collects money on certain licenses and takes care of the voting process.
Rothery expanded on the answer by adding the treasurer is responsible for financial loans and also invests money the county collects, notarizes bonds, handles voter registration and elections and acts as the clerk for the county commission.
Tom Riggins asked about the integrity of the voting system. Rothery said the system is very secure and not hooked to the Internet. She said the system has worked without issues since 2004. Barrenchea also said the state ensures the systems are secure.
Irene Gallio asked Barrenchea about her financial training. In addition to the information she provided in her introduction, Barrenchea said she also handles human resources, opens accounts and invests members money.
One man asked about schools receiving money. Both candidates said the county collects the money but the state distributes the funds to the school districts.
Susie Valentine wondered if there was a problem within the clerk/treasurer’s office for Barrenchea to run. She said several people in the community told her waiting for help was like an imposition on some of the staff.
“Citizens of Churchill County should be welcomed to come there and get the best service possible,” Barrenchea said.
Rothery said the office staff prides themselves in helping customers to the best of their abilities.
“We go out of our way to help,”’ she said.
Rothery said if customers have an issue, they need to let the office know. “We’ve been doing a great job in that office,” Rothery added.
Pam Wickizer, who didn’t have a question but made a statement, said the clerk’s office has “nice people taking care of us.”